by Melanie JohnsonThursday, July 23rd 2020
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse couple will breathe new life into a historic church on the Southside of Syracuse.
In October 2019, the Greater Syracuse Land Bank put the South Presbyterian Church on the market for $25,000.
Active community supporters and philanthropists Evelyn and Chino Ingram saw our report and decided they wanted to buy it.
“I literally grew up two doors down from this church and this church use to be my playground,” said Chino Ingram.
“We are looking for this venue to not only provide vitality to this area, provide revitalization to this area but also bring everyone together,” Evelyn added.
The couple told CNY Central they’re going to invest $7 million into the building with a goal of making the church an event venue with a lounge and conference space.
The Ingrams are going to call it “The Castle.”
“Who lives in castles? Kings and queens. So we wanted to have a very sophisticated, upscale, regal feeling that when people come in they feel like they’re somebody,” Evelyn said.
The church on South Salina St. was built in 1907. It has been vacant for more than a decade and was home to Tiffany lamps and stained-glass windows which were removed in 2013.
Across the street, there’s more development planned. The first-ever Black-owned dental lab in Syracuse is expected to open in Spring 2021. The Ingrams say they’re proud to be part of revitalizing the area.
“Our investment on this side of town is significant for us as African Americans and to recognize that the change begins with us,” Evelyn Ingram said.
The church is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ingrams will be able to access state and federal historic preservation tax credits as they renovate the building.